Somaliland: Speaker of Parliament Releases Pent-up Anger


L- R Speakers of Somaliland Parlaiment in a punch up Bashe Mohamed Farah and Abdirahamn Irro

Somalilandsun – Somaliland Parliamentary Speaker, Abdirahman Irro, came to blows with his Deputy, Bashe Mohamed, yesterday after the Speaker decided not to table a motion to vote on the privatisation of Berbera Oil Terminal again. A video clip posted on a Somaliland website shows the Speaker striking the first blow.

Both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker spoke to the press separately and apologised to the public. Speaker Irro, who is also Waddani presidential candidate, alleges efforts were being made to appoint a second Parliamentary Speaker with similar powers, a move that ” can lead to the appointment of a second Somaliland President”.

Outside the parliament Irro quoted parliamentary rules against debating a motion again after it was rejected in a previous parliamentary session. If rules are on his side the Speaker should have closed the session officially and left the scene. The Speaker’s supporters allege that “people” in Somaliland presidency had masterminded the parliamentary brawl. Judging from remarks of one MP who described the Speaker as the ” Official President of Somaliland” , and an elder, Mr Sabayse, who made threats of violence ” if the law fails to work” it is the Speaker’s camp that had a sinister agenda at the Somaliland Parliament yesterday.

The parliamentary scuffle is the second damage to Somaliland body politic for the last 4 weeks . In August UCID presidential candidate, Jamal Ali Hussein, supported the Somaliland Parliamentary decision to reject the privatisation of Berbera Oil Terminal. He gave Kulmiye government members a bit of advice; ” You have embezzled a lot of money. If you don’t reverse the privatisation decison we will track money you have stashed in Europe.” He alleged Kulmiye government members share a common purpose to misappropriate public funds. Jamal has not spared himself the allegation that he is tolerant of ” embezzlement of public funds”. What is the threshold that am embezzler has got to pass to be accused of embezzlement of Somaliland public funds?

What Somaliland needs is a charismatic Parliamentary Speaker in the mold of the late Ahmed Mohamed Adan Qaybe, who was the Speaker of Somaliand Parliament for eight years. In 2005 Irro was appointed Speaker on an UCID Party ticket, but when he decided to form Waddani, one of the three Somaliland political parties, he had refused to resign. Those who devised the 2005 power-sharing mechanism had violated the principle of neutrality that Irro’s predecessor had upheld.

Liban Ahmad 

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